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John Amaechi calls for physical activity sector to harness diversity

Having an inclusive culture makes a difference – it means you have the best minds
– John Amaechi, CEO, Amaechi Performance Systems

Former NBA star John Amaechi has called for the sport and physical activity sector to embrace diversity and encourage inclusivity.

Amaechi, who became the first former NBA basketballer to come out publicly when he wrote his memoir, said businesses need to create a more diverse workforce and will soon realise the benefits.

“There’s an old saying but a true saying that ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’,” said Amaechi. “Having an inclusive culture makes a difference – it means that you have the best minds.

Speaking at ukactive’s Active Training Conference, Amaechi said: “People think we live in a meritocracy but when you look at most industries, it’s impossible to believe the best brains available exist only in elderly white men – they can’t have all the best brains.

“The idea that women, people of colour, people with disabilities don’t have the best ideas is outrageous.

“So if you want to win and you want the best ideas, you want the most passionate people and they come from lots of different sectors of society. That’s why inclusion wins.”

The sportsman-turned-educator, who was born in Britain before making his name in the US, is now CEO of Amaechi Performance Systems, a consultancy which advises organisations on improving performance and solving people problems.

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